Last week, my tweet to a reporter here about raspberry jam led me to a search for more information about pork gelatin. He had never heard of such a thing! Of course, hidden pork is a big concern to many people. Vegetarians, Hindus, Jews and Muslims all avoid pork. This site has "Clean and Unclean Products" according to Kosher standards. You can use it to understand better which products have pork. It isn't the first time I've checked out such a list, but no matter how many times I look, I'm always surprised.
One of the saddest discoveries for me was that the crunchy corn snack Bugles have pork! That used to be my favorite pig-out food...and I guess that's an even more appropriate name for it. Yes, it was a real pig-out. Astragferallah.
I saw something else on that list that needed clarifying so I started searching around more. I soon found found this posting, "18 Most Sickening Food Ingredients". Definitely the most shocking discovery on the list was that there's a product which uses...ready for this? No, sit down first. There's a product which uses a secretion from the anal glands of beavers. I kid you not.
I'm sure you've had castoreum and not known. Remember that yummy creme soda? Yep. Vanilla ice cream? Ah-huh. That's castoreum; a secretion from the anal glands of beavers. Whether or not that's halal, I couldn't tell you. I do find it incredibly gross.
We need to be aware of what we are putting into our bodies. Lots of times we simply consume for pleasure without pausing to think if it's good for us. Animals consume without thinking but as Muslims we need to be mindful; we have to connect our minds and bodies. Connecting mind and body is certainly a Ramadan action.
It's worth stating that we consume, or take in, more things than food. All of our sense are pulling the outer world inside ourselves. It is not only what we taste; it's also what we see, hear, smell and touch.
Mr. Boo celebrated his eighth birthday and got his first mobile as a present from me. I promised to download some songs. He requested one he'd heard at school parties. I loaded it but didn't really pay attention to the words until I'd hear the song after breaking my fast.
If you want to read the lyrics, then go ahead and click the link. They are not horrible by American mainstream standards, but they are NOT what I want my young man singing. He's eight! I don't want him being a part of that world---not now and not ever. I've got to have that difficult moment when I tell him that we can't allow that song. I thought it was OK but it has nasty lyrics.
I've outlawed a song before when Korean pop sensation Psych was everywhere with Gangham Style's, "Hey, sexy lady!" The word hadn't even registered in my head but when I heard it out of my son's mouth I was shocked. Where had he learned the word, "sexy"? Gangham Style!
I wasn't sure if he knew what he was saying so I asked him if he knew what that word meant. "It's a woman without a lot of clothes on." Yep! Time to monitor better!
Even songs you'd think would be OK because they are produced for children, need your scrutiny. I had also loaded up one of his favorite Shrek songs, the donkey version of Livin' la Vida Loca. Go ahead and read those lyrics. You'll see in part:
"She's into superstition---black cats and voodoo dolls"
"She'll make you take your clothes off and go dancing in the rain."
"...like a bullet to your brain"
"Her lips are devil red..."
"...makes you drink champagne."
"...she'll make you go insane."
Aren't those lyrics the equivalent of beaver anal gland secretions?
Please tell me which one of those lyrics you'd like to hear out of the sweet mouth of your young child. Sure, it's been produced for children in general but not for my child in particular---my MUSLIM child. It's as good a time as any for him to understand that we can't allow everything into our heads; we only want those things which are good and clean and pure.
I am one step closer to not allowing mainstream music in our lives. It's not because I'm such a prude; it's because the mainstream is so filthy.
I did find something really great for him to listen to and it's FREE! I hate to be one of those fuddy duddies muttering, "They don't make anything good for kids these day...not like the olden days..." but if you take a look at this collection of Kiddie Record Classics from the Golden Days I think you'll see what a difference of quality there is. This site is FULL of amazing AMAZING top-notch recordings for kids. Don't think that because they're old that your kid won't like them. There are three Dr. Seuss recordings: 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Gerald McBoing Boing and Horton Hatches an Egg. There's a few Bugs Bunny stories. The readers are incredible with the likes of radio legend The Great Gildersleeve, country star Tex Ritter (the dad of "Three's Company" star John Ritter), and Hollywood stars including Shirley Temple and James Stewart.
It's isn't that we can't listen to something enjoyable---we can!
It isn't that we can't eat and drink---we can!
The point I'd like to make for this Ramadan Action is that you need to realize what's going in and question whether or not it's clean for your body and mind. As a mother, you need to do the choosing for your child now and help them understand why we don't take in everything. Sometimes, seeing that it's wrong for your child helps you to understand that it's bad for you too.